Spread Goodwill Year Round

Tomorrow is Saturday and it’s a big event day in our little community. Garage Sales! Yep, like others I’ll start out early with my cup of coffee and bag of change to find those great treasures that is someone else’s trash.Believe it or not, I head out with a list. Books, fabric, and nuts and bolts are always on the list.

This week I’m looking for a dog house for the new canine member of our family. Garage sales are also social events. There are folks that I only see on the “circuit” on Saturday. We take a few minutes to catch up on the previous week and share what great finds there are around town. A few trades have been known to happen with these encounters as well.

goodwill job center

I enjoy this Saturday ritual for several reasons. It’s time away from the computer, the rush of grocery shopping and paying bills, and dash to deadlines. Yes, finding something I want in good condition for much less than retail. Plus garage sales are a great way to recycle rather than send to the landfill.

Cold weather is coming. There will fewer garage sales; fewer opportunities to get my bargain fix. That’s when I plan a trip to a Goodwill®  store.All the fun of garage sales in a dry and warm building. Aisles and aisles of bargains that I can leisurely browse. Unlike a department store or big box store where people always seem to be in a hurry. Plus look at all the recycling going on.

I recently learned that Goodwill has “outlet” stores, an online auction site, and an online book and music site. The outlet store is a large store

goodwill outlet store

Goodwill Outlet in Austin, TX

where the items are rotated in and out throughout the day. Often the merchandise is sold by the pound, rather priced per piece. It’s a store that you want to be able to spend your time rummaging through the various bins for treasures. Use the search feature on the Goodwill home page to find an outlet near you.

At shopgoodwill.com, you can bid on all kinds of items–new and “vintage.” The site was developed by Goodwill of Orange County, CA and now is host to over 175 organizations around the world. It has all the features of any online auction, including an option to buy without bidding.

Goodwillbooks.com has a huge variety of books, music, games, and more. You can wander the “stacks” or browse categories, or search for specific titles. I even found a category for Windows 95; something for everybody. Just like any used bookstore, I can get lost and just wander around.

All of these Goodwill Stores have another benefits: job training and employment placement services. In fact, Goodwill is the leading non-profit provider of job training programs and career services in the United States and Canada.

Not only does the  dollar you spend at a Goodwill Store help support these important service, but also the donations of those unused items lying around the closet and garage help. Just one bag of clothes and one bag of books can equal up to 2.3 hours of on-the-job training for someone in need. Didn’t know that “junk” was worth so much, did you?

This is the season of giving. Non-profit organizations send out donation letters because more contributions are received at the end of year than any other time. Since contributions of our castoffs are as important to Goodwill as cash contributions are, it’s easy to contribute year round.

Extend the holiday giving season throughout the year by donating or shopping at the variety of Goodwill Stores. I plan to continue to do so on a regular basis.

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